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China completed its first launch mission with the Smart Dragon-3 rocket it designed for commercial satellite transport.
China used the Smart Dragon-3 rocket designed for commercial satellite transport for the first time. The rocket sent 14 satellites into orbit from the launch platform in the Yellow Sea.
Developed by the China Rocket Company affiliated with the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), Smart Dragon-3 can carry a load of up to 1.5 tons to the Sun-Synchronous Orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers from the ground.
The 140-kilogram solid-fuel rocket, 31 meters long and 2.65 meters in diameter have a four-stage ignition mechanism.
China will reduce costs
Aiming to respond to the increasing demand in the commercial satellite market, the rocket will reduce the launch cost to less than 10 thousand dollars per kilogram.
The company launched 3 satellites into Solar Synchronous Orbit in 2019 with the Smart Dragon-1 rocket it had previously developed. The first-generation rocket had a carrying capacity of 200 kilograms.
The company’s next-generation Smart Dragon-4 rocket is said to have a carrying capacity of 2.5 tons.